Imperial College London

Dr James A Bull

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Chemistry

Reader in Synthetic Chemistry



+44 (0)20 7594 5811j.bull Website




501bMolecular Sciences Research HubWhite City Campus





Dr James A Bull is a Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Department of Chemistry.

Dr Bull’s research focuses on the development of efficient synthetic and catalytic methods to access novel structural motifs and heterocycles of interest in drug discovery.


James is awarded the 2021 AstraZeneca Prize for Synthetic Chemistry, as covered in this Chemistry World article.

For group news, see: @jamesabull

We are offering funded projects through the REact CDT for Oct 2022 (funding limited to UK students):

These are administered through the CDT, who will receive applications directly

Biographical details

James Bull graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2001 with a First Class Honours MSci degree in Natural Sciences, Chemistry and the Raphael Prize for Organic Chemistry. He then spent a year working at GlaxoSmithKline Stevenage as a Research Scientist in the Medicinal Chemistry Department.

He returned to Cambridge in 2003 to undertake PhD research with Professor Steven V Ley. He completed the total synthesis of bisoxazole antifungal natural product bengazole A and analogues.

In 2007 he joined the group of Professor André B. Charette as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Université de Montréal, Canada. Here he developed an intramolecular Simmons-Smith cyclopropanation reaction.

In 2009 he began independent research at Imperial College London as a Ramsay Memorial Research Fellow (2009-2011), working in the laboratories of Professor Alan Armstrong. From 2011 to 2015 Dr Bull held an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship on "Novel strategies to access chiral heterocycles as potential lead compounds in drug discovery". In January 2016 Dr Bull started a Royal Society University Research Fellowship.



Higham J, Bull J, 2022, Amine-catalyzed copper-mediated C–H sulfonylation of benzaldehydes via a transient imine directing group, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Vol:61, ISSN:1433-7851, Pages:1-8

Greed S, Symes O, Bull J, 2022, Stereospecific reaction of sulfonimidoyl fluorides with Grignard reagents for the synthesis of enantioenriched sulfoximines, Chemical Communications, Vol:58, ISSN:1359-7345, Pages:5387-5390

Rojas Munoz J, Torrisi E, Dubois M, et al., 2022, Oxetan-3-ols as 1,2-bis-Electrophiles in a brønsted acid catalyzed synthesis of 1,4-Dioxanes, Organic Letters, Vol:24, ISSN:1523-7052

Piticari A-S, Antermite D, Higham J, et al., 2022, Stereoselective palladium-catalyzed C(sp3)–H mono-arylation of piperidines and tetrahydropyrans with a C(4) directing group, Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis, Vol:364, ISSN:1615-4150

Rojas J, Croft R, Sterling A, et al., 2022, Amino-oxetanes as amide isosteres by an alternative defluorosulfonylative coupling of sulfonyl fluorides, Nature Chemistry, Vol:14, ISSN:1755-4330, Pages:160-169

More Publications